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Press Release | Oct. 18, 2022

U.S. Central Command Visits Leadership of Bahrain Defense Force


Oct. 18, 2022

Release Number 20221018-08


TAMPA, Fla. – Yesterday, Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command, met with the Commander-in-Chief, Bahrain Defense Force, Field Marshal Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa and senior leaders from the Bahrain Defense Force in Manama, Bahrain. This was Kurilla’s third visit to Bahrain since assuming command of USCENTCOM on April 1 this year.

During the meeting, the leaders spoke about methods to strengthen the U.S.-Bahrain military partnership. Kurilla discussed his strategic approach; focused on people, partners, and innovation. Khalifa discussed ways to modernize the existing framework agreement for the defense of Bahrain and progress made on scheduled Foreign Military Sales between the U.S. and Bahrain including F-16s, Patriot missile systems, and AH-1 Cobra helicopters.

“Our military relationship with the Bahrain Defense Force goes back more than 50 years, before the formation of USCENTCOM,” said Kurilla. “Given the increasing complexity of the threats in the region, the advances in unmanned aerial systems and ballistic missile capability, and the continued threat of terror groups, this relationship is more important now than ever. USCENTCOM must rely on our partners in the region to solve the region’s complex problems. We are firmly committed to our partnership with the Bahrain Defense Force; this relationship is ironclad.”

Following the meeting with the Bahrain Defense Force, Kurilla participated in a scheduled operational update with the Combined Maritime Forces at the U.S. Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain. The operational update was attended by representatives from the 34-member multinational maritime partnership, which exists to uphold the rules-based international order.

“The Combined Maritime Forces partnership – the world’s largest multinational maritime partnership – provides critical security to this important part of the world,” said Kurilla.